Posts Tagged ‘rano360travels’

The Paddock experience

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, automative, lifestyle, Social News

 

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Who would have thought I will get exclusive access INSIDE an F1 paddock and only this VIP pass is possible. I also managed to get the Sauber F1 drivers to sign on them. Priceless tag 😀
 

 

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The beaut of Alfa Romeo Giulia. With a V6 engine powered with a 2.9 litre, this is a powerful car. Had the honour to be chauffeured in this car 😀
 

I can’t believe it!!! I’m back in the Singapore for the F1 event. In fact, I went to the inaugural Singapore F1 back in 2008. That’s like 10 years ago. Now I’m so fortunate to be back here in Singapore and thanks to @alfaromeobrunei for sponsoring the trip and it was special indeed. Let me tell you why.

I was given access to enter the paddock of the Sauber team who partners with Alfa Romeo in this season of the F1 Grand Prix. This access is different to that of Paddock Club ticket holders (ranging from BND 1,300 to BND 8,000). Those paddock holders can allow walk outside the paddock line to view all the constructor cars. They will be given a specific time to tour around and take pictures and videos.

Now for my pass, it’s a special pass where I have the privilege to enter inside the paddock of Sauber and witness the operations of the engineers on how they deal with the car and the driver when he pits the car. Each driver have their dedicated engineers and support team and I can see why it’s important to be meticulous when it comes to F1 racing. The car and its conditions have to be in perfect, mint condition every time it’s being pitted so the driver can drive to the best of his ability with a highest optimum specs from the car.

We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the paddock and that is quite understandable. We did have a chance to take videos and photos but only outside the perimeter of the Sauber paddock.

The best part of the Friday tour activity was the 5 minute moments with both drivers of Sauber F1 team – Marcus Ericsson (29) and Charles Leclerc (20) whom will be driving for Ferrari next year. This, for me, was an amazing feeling. To be up close and personal to an F1 driver is not an easy feat alone. So a huge thanks to @alfaromeobrunei for making this dream come true.

I also had the privilege to be driven in the Alfa Romeo Giulia, a 2.9 litre with V6 engine. It was launched in Singapore and that car alone costs a hefty BND 380,000. Gulp!!!! That’s Singapore for you. As for Brunei, Alfa Romeo will be making its comeback pretty soon and I shall keep you posted.

Thank you once again @alfaromeobrunei for making this memorable trip for me. I can’t wait to see a Giulia on a Brunei road. Many of you will be impressed. Trust me.

 

 

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The meeting point before being sent to the paddock
 

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Inside the Alfa Romeo Giulia
 

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The catalogue. I should have taken one with me.
 

 

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Blessed!!!! With future Ferrari driver, Charles Leclerc, from Poland
 

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A humble driver, Marcus Ericsson, from Sweden
 

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Outside the paddock of Sauber F1 team
 

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Cleaning out the debris and dirt from the F1 tires
 

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Our hospitality area for the paddock team.
 

 

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How the steering looks like inside the Sauber car. Buttons galore.
 

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Charles didn’t had a good run in the first practice session. His tire hit at turn 13 of the track.
 

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Thank you once again, @alfaromeobrunei for this opportunity
 

An amazing Porsche experience

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, automative, lifestyle, Social News

 

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Group photo with all the media representatives hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific for the Media Driving Academy at Sepang International Circuit earlier this July
 

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A photo opp with the newly launched Porsche 911 GT2RS
 

Last year, I had the privilege to attend the Media Driving Academy (MDA) hosted by Porsche Asia-Pacific. They consisted of three courses – Individual, Professional and Elite. As for last year, I entered the Individual course which is the basic course among the lot. It was definitely fun. Why? Because it’s the only time we can break the rules in terms of speeding on the road and it was conducted at the Sepang International Circuit, ideal for racers.

Fast forward to this year (July 2018), I was invited again by Porsche Asia-Pacific where I completed the other two courses – Professional and Elite earlier this month. I met familiar faces especially from the international media representatives in Asia-Pacific.

There were two main highlights for me – the launch of the Porsche GT2RS and the driving experience of the Porsche GT3.

Firstly, the Porsche GT2RS. Wow, wow, wow!!!! A beast among beast, this is a collectors item for Porsche lovers. Car and Driver even labeled it as the chainsaw of the 911 line-up. It has a 700 horse power twin-turbo engine. The previous GT2 model has a hp of 620 so there is definitely a difference. You can tell that the GT2RS is built for speed. The price tag alone is quite high. You’re talking about RM 1.3 million itself in Malaysia. Apparently there’s a Porsche GT2RS on the road in Brunei. Amazing!! Sadly, the GT2RS is only for display for the media and not for a test drive.

Of course, the main highlight of the MDA was test driving the newer editions of the Porsche finest models – 911 GT3 (me likes), 718 Cayman GTS and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid on the SIC race track.

The favourite among the lot for me is the 911 GT3 – simply awesome and it has a mind of its own. I truly love the handling at high speed as well as the braking. It just gives me more assurance to drive safer especially on the race track.

The instructors were very helpful too and our group (Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia) was lucky to have William Bamber, brother of Earl Bamber, an accomplished race car driver, who competes for Porsche Motorsport. The hospitality was top notch to begin with and the goodies were awesome too – Adidas racing boots and a racing helmet for completing both Professional and Elite courses.

After all the experiences, I truly understand how magnificent Porsche are in terms of handling, speed and safety. We were given tasks such as the Slolam, the Moose, the Braking and many more. I enjoyed the Slolam one as we did a time lapse for every driver to see who was the fastest.

The second day was much more interesting as we learnt the tracks of the SIC race track from start to finish. I realised how awesome Porsche are on the road. Expensive but you will know where the money is spent on. Unfortunately, in Brunei, it’s not something we can take advantage when we have a monster of a car like Porsche because of the driving laws and also the conditions of our roads in Brunei.

Soon, some selected customers will be having their own session organised by Porsche (Brunei) in early August for the upcoming Porsche Driving Experience at Sepang. I hope they have the same experience as I did and it’s also a great way to showcase what a Porsche can do.

Will I own a Porsche? If the money and timing are right, why not? 😉

 

 

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Just look at that convoy
 

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My favourite car during MDA experience
 

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Did you realize that the driver side is on the left? Yes, all the Porsche are imported from Europe.
 

 

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The lead car was always the Porsche GT3
 

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Listening to advices by the instructors at some of the activities
 

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Receiving a pair of Adidas racing boots 😉
 

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These boots are made for racing 😀
 

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Learning how to handle around corners and bends
 

 

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We had some physical exercises as well. Did you know that racing also involves a good physique such as your hand, neck and body?
 

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Receiving a souvenir from the organiser 😀
 

Behind the scene: CUCKOO factories

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in technology, Business, Social News

 

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The media from Brunei outside one of CUCKOO factory in Seoul
 

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Posing with Mr. Hoe, CEO of CUCKOO Malaysia for one of the photo contest
 

What a fortunate treat for the local media from Brunei who had the privilege to visit the factories of CUCKOO (multi-cooker and water purifier). The first visit was at Yangsan factory located in Busan, South Korea.

I would have thought it would be stricter for companies as big asCUCKOO to allow visitors to see the production line of CUCKOO. So it was such a fitting trip that we as the media were given the opportunity to see how a strong brand likeCUCKOO made it so popular in the Asia Pacific.

The Yangsan factory we visited mainly focused on multi-cookers and kitchen appliances. We were brought to the conference room where delegates from Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore were introduced to the management team of Yangsan Factory.

We learnt that CUCKOO’s multi-cookers are known for four things: Smart Algorithm, Pressure Cooking, Heating Technology and Coating Technology. These advanced technologies helped one to prepare food or meal at a touch of button. At the factory itself, we had a sneak peak on how the functions were created.

For a person who rarely cooks and maybe most of the readers here, how does pressure cooking really helps or an advantage? Imagine you don’t have enough time to cook. By using CUCKOO’s multi-cooker, you can save 70% of your cooking time and that’s with the help of the pressure cooking technology inside CUCKOO multi-cooker. This is very ideal for the working class who has limited time when it comes to cooking.

It’s really hard to explain to those who aren’t familiar with cooking. But I can guarantee you that once a CUCKOO multi-cooker in in your hands, you won’t regret the purchase. It’s no surprise why 70% household in Korea uses CUCKOO brand for their cooking and that shows the Korean really trust their products.

For the record, CUCKOO multi-cooker is sold every 10 seconds in South Korea. How I wish I had the same business model like CUCKOO.

Now saying all that, all these technologies infused in CUCKOO’s appliances are manufactured at Yangsan factory. We saw some of the production lines within the premise and I was impressed with the dedication and precision by the CUCKOO factory workers. You will be surprised the average age of the workers which is around 24-25 years old.

We also had the privilege to visit the Siheung Factory which focuses more on water purifier. It has a similar production line concept like Yangsan and it’s located closer to Seoul. With the two plants in South Korea, they are able to produce more than 4.5 million set annually.

They have around a few hundred workers working behind the scene. All they focus is just their tasks given and I hardly see them having a conversation among themselves. It’s as if they are like human robots in the production line. That’s how discipline the workers are in the factory.

Interestingly enough, Brian Koo Bon Hak, the CEO of CUCKOO Electronics Co. Ltd, mentioned of a plan to build a RM 100 million factory in Malaysia to produce water purifier products. This will help to bridge the demand gap due to the rapid growth in Southeast Asia and Brunei is one of the emerging markets in the water purifier category.

 

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With the presence of media from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore during the media conference at CUCKOO factory in Seoul
 

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One of the production lines for the CUCKOO multi-cooker
 

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The workers are very focused and dedicate when handling the components
 

 

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One of the semi-conductors used for the multi-cooker
 

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The faulty section where one will commission to see what went wrong with the unit
 

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The upcoming multi-cooker model that is able to make Gaba rice
 

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Gaba rice is better than brown rice and healthier
 

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Our local model from Brunei posing with CUCKOO water purifier
 

 

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Behind the scenes on how the water purifier are being produced
 

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I was pretending to spy inside the production line :p
 

Brunei makes a mark on CUCKOO’s 40th celebration

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in health, Business, Social News

 

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Mr Brian Koo, CEO of CUCKOO Korea and Mr. K.C. Hoe, CEO of CUCKOO Malaysia doing the honours for the Cuckoo’s 40th anniversary celebration at Seoul Dragon City, Korea last Wednesday.
 

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CUCKOO unveiled the new ambassador for CUCKOO, Lee Seung Gi, who sang two numbers to delight of the attendees
 

 

2017 was an excellent year for CUCKOO Brunei. The year in which Cuckoo International Brunei reached many milestones, including the successful introduction of a flexible dual package plan, known as CUCKOO’s UP PLAN, which was launched in January 2018.

These plans were thoughtfully designed to allow Bruneian families from all walks of life to effortlessly own CUCKOO appliances – and enjoy the higher standard of life that comes with them – without overburdening themselves financially. The market’s response was positive beyond expectations, allowing CUCKOO Brunei to achieve results that were Beyond Standards:


 “We wouldn’t have been able to achieve such results without the efforts of my highly supportive team, who believed in our vision,” said Mr Wong Kim Guan, Managing Director of Cuckoo Brunei. Within 18 months, CUCKOO Brunei has already opened 9 brand stores, and Garnered over 3,500 households, generating a revenue of 2 million Brunei dollars.

“Greater plans are coming ahead in 2018 for Cuckoo Brunei, where we aim to provide better plans and services to meet greater expectations,” Said Wong Hui Ting, Marketing Director of Cuckoo Brunei.

 

 

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The priceless selfie taken by the Korean celebrity
 

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Mr Wong Kim Guan, Managing Director of CUCKOO Brunei receiving award for the Country Arising Sales Award. I’m quite proud to see Brunei on the map.
 

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CUCKOO Brunei team witnessing the 40th anniversary
 

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Members of the media from Brunei 😀
 

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I made great connections with these bunch 😀
 

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I’m proud of Guan and Hui Ting for your efforts in making CUCKOO a household name in Brunei Darussalam
 

In 2016, CUCKOO has penetrated into the south east Asian markets like Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia. “Our sights are set on expanding the CUCKOO brand to Vietnam, India and Indonesia in 2018. We estimate that our overseas ventures will bring in an annual revenue of USD150 million in 2018, and a total of USD1 billion in the next 5 years. So, we will continue to increase our presence in overseas markets and focus our efforts on the global expansion of the CUCKOO brand,” revealed Mr Brian Koo, CEO of CUCKOO Korea, at CUCKOO’s 40th anniversary celebration.

Held at Seoul Dragon City, CUCKOO’s 40th anniversary celebration was attended by over 500 CUCKOO employees and media personnel from Korea, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia on 7 March 2018.

CUCKOO is a well-known home appliance brand from South Korea. In South Korea, a CUCKOO water purifier is sold every minute and a CUCKOO rice cooker is sold every 10 seconds. Today, CUCKOO has successfully extended its operations to 30 countries across 5 continents. In 2017, CUCKOO’s global turnover hit a record of USD $760 million.

In August 2016, CUCKOO Brunei joined the CUCKOO family. Within 18 months, CUCKOO Brunei has sold countless water purifiers to Bruneians through a revolutionary ownership plan, and also introduced multi-cookers and air purifiers to the Bruneian audience. In 2017, CUCKOO Brunei accumulated 3,500 Bruneian customers and thus, opened over 9 brand stores nationwide.

For more information about CUCKOO, please call the CUCKOO Careline at +673 2333330 or visit www.cuckoobrunei.com or CUCKOO BRUNEI’s official Facebook page.

 

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Unveiling three new markets for CUCKOO – India, Indonesia and Vietnam
 

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Hello Seung Gi
 

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Does this count as a selfie? haha
 

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He is the new ambassador and I can’t believe loads of Bruneians are crazy for him
 

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I’m impressed with the JS Drummers on the opening segment
 

Brunei Travel Fair 2017 prize presentation

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, lifestyle, Social News

 

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Irene Soon, General Manager of Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) thanking all the supporters and partners of the recent travel fair before the prize presentation for the winners held at Emperor’s Court
 

Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) Sdn Bhd hosted the Brunei Travel Fair 2017 last month at the Banquet Hall, International Convention Centre and yesterday was the prizes presentation to honour the winners of the lucky draw campaign that took place during that weekend.

So how did it fare? Pretty good in fact. It attracted more than 13,500 visitors to the travel fair and the bookings received increased by 24% from last year’s. That’s pretty encouraging number considering the economic climate of Brunei Darussalam.

Irene Soon, General Manager of Sabre Travel Network (Brunei), appreciated all the partners and supporters involved in making the travel fair another success.

The prize presentation ceremony took place at Emperor’s Court and it was attended by Sabre Travel Network (Brunei), Baiduri Bank, Royal Brunei Airlines and travel agencies. The prizes were sponsored by Sabre Travel Network (Brunei), Baiduri Bank, Royal Brunei Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

 

 

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Ms Lim Shar Lun won a 2 Returned Economy Class Tickets to any Royal Brunei Airlines long haul destination
 

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12 year old Md Shahirul Azuan Md Effendi won a two return economy class ticket to any Royal Brunei Airlines short haul destination for winning in Category A for the Fidget Spinner competition
 

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Wan Farhan Hj Ibrahim won a return economy class air ticket to any Royal Brunei Airlines short haul destination. He won in Category B for the Fidget Spinner competition.
 

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Ms Malinee Bumrungkit won a Mayer Healthy Fryer sponsored by Sabre Travel Network
 

The winners.

Malaysia Airlines sponsored returned tickets and the winners were Dk Majeedah Pg Hj Jeludin, a return flight ticket to Penang via Kuala Lumpur and Muna Atiqah Abdul Nadir, a return flight ticket to Langkawi via Kuala Lumpur.

Royal Brunei Airlines sponsored air tickets and Royal Skies Points and the winners were Lim Shar Lun, winning two return flight tickets to any Royal Brunei Airlines long haul destination, Mohd Saiffuddin Mohd Yusop, winning two return flight tickets to any Royal Brunei Airlines short haul destination annd Hj Shahri Hj Zainal, winning 50,000 Royal Skies points.

As for the Sabre Travel Network winners, they were Mahani Md Yussof (GoPro Hero 5), Norhayati Malai Abdullah (Matrix HD TV), Ms Chong Nyan Mee (Philips TV) and Malinee Bumrungkit (Mayer Healthy Fryer).

For the Fidget Spinner Competition organised by Royal Brunei Airlines, the winners were Md Shahirul Azuan Md Effendi for Category A and Wan Farhan Hj Ibrahim for Category B. Both of them won a return flight ticket to any Royal Brunei Airlines short haul destination.

For the Travel Agent category, all the destinations – Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and London belonged to two travel consultants from Pan Bright Travel for their top selling destinations during the travel fair.

For the top Travel Agents award, Freme Travel Services came first while Pan Bright Travel Service came second and Darussalam Holdings finished third.

 

 

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Mahani Md Yussof won herself a GoPro Hero 5 sponsored by Sabre Travel Network
 

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Chong Nyan Mee won herself a Philips TV sponsored by Sabre Travel Network
 

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The winners sponsored by Malaysia Airlines. One is heading to Penang while the other to Langkawai
 

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Freme Travel Services won as the top selling travel agent during the Sabre Travel Fair
 

 

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An agent from Pan Bright Travel Service rewarded for her efforts for her top selling destinations – Singapore and London during the travel fair
 

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Representatives from Pan Bright Travel Services, coming 2nd place in the Top Travel Agents during the Brunei Travel Fair
 

Interview with Mark Raine

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, lifestyle, Social News

Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Cars vice-president of sales and marketing (Malaysia), has been active in the car scene lately, leading record sales for Mercedes last year with almost 12,000 units sold in 2016. There are many interesting factors that contributed to the growth of Mercedes-Benz in Malaysia and also in South East Asia.

What has made the premium brand a success as of late? What are their recipes to success and sustainability? I have the privilege to interview Mark Raine during my short visit to Kota Kinabalu last week. Mark is a very easy going lad and very approachable. Thank you for hosting the media and customers last week and arranging a great three day event in showcasing how Mercedes-Benz is not just a product but a lifestyle.

 

 


Interviewing Mark Raine at Shangrila’s Rasa Ria
 

Rano Iskandar: Can you share the growth of Mercedes-Benz and its growing presence in South East Asia?

Mark Raine: I believe we have a holistic approach in our brand, Mercedes-Benz and this has been a huge factor in our growth and being a brand leader in the premium category. We don’t only have the best car but also focusing on customer centric in a way of doing our business, to give a more positive customer experience before and after sales. Even the process of buying a Mercedes is taken into account such as having a competent website, digital approach and also the consultation process. All these are essential in the buying process so in the end, the customers are happy with their choices. This is already half the victory in catering to what the customers want.

The real deal starts after the sales and we at Mercedes emphasizes deeply in this area as this will determine our loyalty of our customers. It has proven a success and it is no doubt that the growth of Mercedes in the premium sector has increased despite the downturn in the economy in SEA.

The extension of the models from Mercedes-Benz has helped to elevate the growth of the brand in the premium sector. These are such as the SUV models – the GLEs, GLCs and GLAs being introduced in the market.

Rano Iskandar: Speaking of the trend, is this segment a huge trend in the region for Mercedes and how it came about?

Mark Raine: Yes, this is more of a global trend that SUVs have impacting the trend. However, there was little choices in the premium segment. We have a gut feeling and took a gamble in this segment and we believed that SUV is the thing of the future. This was also the key element of positioning of the Mercedes brand (in the SUV segment), focusing on lifestyle and affluent customers. This has helped to rejuvenate the brand while improving on innovation and technology.

Rano Iskandar: Why Kota Kinabalu as the prime destination for the #hungryforadventure ?

Mark Raine: The destination speaks for itself and we want to associate the mindset of our customers that our brand offers endurance, great positioning for different walks of life such as taking your children to school or on the weekend, bring your bike for a spin or going for a round of golf and lastly Kota Kinabalu gives a sense of adrenalin which resonates with our brand. We were fortunate that we have different weather conditions during our hill drive this morning at Sabah National Park and it showed what our SUVs are capable of.

We at Mercedes tend to organize events like this twice a year. We will invite our stakeholders along such as the media, the customers to showcase what SUVs are about and also being a premium brand, we want to be approachable to our customers by having a touch and feel on what Mercedes have to offer.

Rano Iskandar: Which model in Malaysia has been a top seller?

Mark Raine: It will be the C class and it targets all walks of life. However, it’s not the only model that has been popular but the compact cars and other models such as the E Class that was launched last year in Malaysia. Pretty soon we will be launching the new E 350E the latest hybrid brand. In terms of growth, it will be the SUVs and the GLC is the best selling in Malaysia and we sold over 3,000 units since its launch.

 

 


Mark Raine, Mercedes-Benz Cars vice-president of sales and marketing (Malaysia), posing with the latest Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 at Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu recently
 

Rano Iskandar: Why introducing the GLC 200 if you already have the GLC 250?

Mark Raine: We have the GLC 250 which is a brilliant product. It’s an SUV 4WD and offers great speed and comfort, positioning it as a very sporty, luxury model.

However to a certain extent, we are only capturing a lot of market but there are customers who want different qualities and traits and their mindsets are different from other customers. Hence the GLC 200 repositions itself in more exclusive luxury segment. It comes standard in on-road package or off-road package. The interior package also makes the value perception of this vehicle very, very high. The GLC 200 is just a notch below the GLC 250, hence makes it more affordable for most customers in the market. The unique selling point of the GLC 200 will be the exclusive luxurious appeal with high value perception and many features at a very competitive price.

Rano Iskandar: The GLC 200 is locally assembled in Malaysia. Is there any difference from the ones being imported?

Mark Raine: No difference at all. Same car, same quality, same quality checks. In essence, the same car. In South East Asia, we have a local production because we have tax exemptions and it makes the pricing more attractive.

Rano Iskandar: The GLE 43 Coupe OrangeArt Limited Edition. Share me more about it.

Mark Raine: It’s already available through order. It’s very limited and exclusive order. It’s very eccentric and flashy feel. It has a 21 inch AMG wheels with the OrangeArt Edition exterior package. We even have the Night Package. The eccentric and unique edition features extravagant design highlights including striking expressive decals in the orange on the front apron and the AMG wheels painted in high-gloss black and rim flange painted in orange.

The GLE 43 Coupe Orange Art Edition making it a high end personalised edition giving that special, individualized character and it’s definitely a striking appeal.

 

 


I had the privilege to test drive the GLC 200 and it will available in Brunei market hopefully by November 2017
 


Loving the feel and the drive. Of course, I love the AMG GLC 250 but this model is still good enough to keep me satisfied
 


A nice touch when I opened the door of the GLC 200
 

Mercedes-Benz Endurance Trip Day 2

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in travel, automative, lifestyle, Social News

 

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Day 2 – Group shot with the representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Loas, the Philippines and Brunei. This was taken at entrance at the Ocean Wing, Shangrila’s Rasa Ria resort at Tuaran, Sabah.
 

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This was our car for the day – the Mercedes-Benz GLC AMG 250. So much to love about this model and it’s one of the most popular model in South East Asia.
 

 

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Some of the media representatives
 

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The jungle trekking at Sabah National Park which lasted roughly 2 kilometre
 

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The dry bag sponsored by Mercedes-Benz do come in handy
 

 

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One of the media had the opportunity to hug a tree. I should have done that. This was the 2nd round of trekking which was tougher than the first one. I survived but my sneakers were all dirty from the soft ground.
 

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We finally worked out the navigation for easier reference while driving. Hence we realised less on waze unless we want traffic update.
 

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Taken at the Kinabalu Pine Resort where we had our lunch pitstop before heading back to the hotel
 

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Group photo with representatives from Brunei Darussalam. We all had a good time.
 

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A shot with the mountain view. I love the background scenery.
 

 

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A situation where there is overcrowding of Mercedes-Benz SUVs at one spot
 

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This is a pretty sight with all the convoys of the SUVs
 

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On our way back from the mountain and the fog started to set in pretty early
 

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A true test when it rained and of course, the Mercedes-Benz SUVs had little trouble during the rain with some puddles along the way
 

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After trying out the GLC AMG 43 and the GLC AMG 250, I test drove the tamer version which will be launched in Brunei in November – The GLC 200. Again, a luxurious model of its own.
 

 

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I tested with the Sport+ and Eco mode and you can tell the difference. I even did the launch control on the long stretch at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria. Love that adrenalin feeling.
 

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Apart from the test drive, I love the fact that our host accommodate the invitees to stay over at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resot and I truly loved the experience. I made use of the humungous bath tub outside my room.
 

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The finale BBQ dinner to cap off the #ReadyForAdventure trip. Thanks once again!
 

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Representatives of Jati Transport and their customers from Brunei also joined the fun 🙂
 

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I wanted to pamper myself and indulged for a massage session at the hotel. I shall give this 4 stars for the overall experience. I even fell asleep at one stage. So good.
 

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Only 2 nights here and I made myself so comfortable at my room at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria. This is one of the best hotels I have stayed in 2017. Maybe the best 😀
 

Mercedes-Benz Endurance Trip Day 1

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative, Social News

 

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Kenny Ng, General Manager of Emerging Markets, Daimler South East Asia and Ho Ley Hoon, Sales Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd with selected owners of Mercedes-Benz SUVs before heading off on a road trip to Kota Kinabalu.
 

Jati Transport Sdn Bhd invited selected SUV owners of Mercedes-Benz and two members of the media for Mercedes-Benz SUV Endurance Road Trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

This was considered my fifth overseas assignment for automative in the past few years and this time it’s a road trip from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu. Yes, I’ve been on the road once but only from KK to Brunei and not back and forth. It’s an honour to have Jati Transport organizing the Mercedes-Benz SUV Endurance trip and also inviting me to be part of the media team. Thank you, thank you.

The flag off took place at 7am yesterday at the new Mercedes-Benz Autohaus at Beribi. There were a convey of 8 Mercedes-Benz and they were flagged off by Kenny Ng, General Manager of Emerging Markets, Daimler South East Asia and Ho Ley Hoon, Sales Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd before the entourage departed to Kota Kinabalu.

The trip took roughly six and a half hours before arriving at Hap Seng Star showroom (Mercedes-Benz KK). The entourage is expected to drive back from Kota Kinabalu tomorrow lunch time.

 

 

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Kenny Ng doing the honours to flag off at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus
 

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Lo Hey Loon flagging off the endurance drive
 

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Catching the ferry at the half way point to Kota Kinabalu
 

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The ferry must have been worth a lot since it carried 8 Mercedes-Benz vehicle and one Kijang on the one minute ride
 

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Some parts were affected by the flood.
 

What was being showcase? The media from Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Cambodia and selected Mercedes-Benz owners from Brunei Darussalam were invited for the exclusive launch of the Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 at Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 was unveiled by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia sales and marketing, passenger cars vice president, Mark Raine, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur for the 3 day event.

Another edition has been added to the Mecedes-Benz SUV family – the GLC 200. This is to cater to the unique lifestyle and demands of its customers with the launch of the new GLC variant: the GLC 200. It is equipped with numerous high-end features including the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, an Off-road exterior package, 19 inch 5-spoke allow wheels and LED High Performance headlamps. The interior has a luxurious appeal with a high value perception. The interior colors ranging from black, espresso brown to silk beige in combination with the exclusive brown open-pore ash wood trim and the ARTICO man-made leather dashboard underline the exclusive appearance of the premium SUV.

Malaysians had the privileged of the locally-assembled GLC 250 4MATIC and now they have brought it a new variant to underline its claim as the leader in the premium SUV segment in Malaysia and this also provide a wider avenue for their customers to choose from.

According to Mark Raine, “The introduction of Mercedes-Benz’s premium SUB range has establish this segment to the luxury market. As the No.1 premium brand, we combine ultimate driving comfort, dynamic handling and great ability, as our SUVs define new benchmarks, break conventions and provide our customers with their ultimate choice of vehicle for their unique and active lifestyle. As the locally produced GLC a crowd favourite, we are excited to bring the GLC 200 as an additional choice for those who desire and exclusive SUV.”

The GLC 200 is powered by a 2.0 liter 4 in-line engine, which produces an output of 135kW (184hp) and 300 Nm of torque. The nee-stage 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission also comes as standard on the GLC 200. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control, the automatic transmission with a torque converter boasts great agility and responsiveness.

Its interior features Exclusive line, including upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather/fabric, ARTICO-covered dashboard with contrasting topstitching in three colors, seats featuring an exclusively upholstery layout, wood trim in high-gloss brown line structure lime and the 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel.

 

 

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Hap Seng Star showroom at Kota Kinabalu. Nice, nice!!
 

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Mark Raine posing with the newly launched GLC 200
 

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Members of the media from other countries came in to witness the launch
 

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Now this OrangeArt Edition caught my eye. Very limited too.
 

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The Mercedes-Benz that was given for me to drive – the GLC AMG 43… Wooohooo
 

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The interior of the AMG 43
 

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Our hotel room at Shangrila’s Rasa Ria which was quite far from the city. Love the hotel and thank you, Mercedes-Benz, for hosting us
 

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Let’s have fun during our endurance trip
 

Sabre Brunei Travel Fair 2017

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, travel, Social News

 

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The press conference yesterday held at Mc Donald’s. Image courtesy of At-Taqwa Travel Tours.
 

Sabre Travel Network (Brunei) Sdn Bhd will host the annual Travel Fair on Saturday, 26 August 2017 at Banquet Hall, International Convention Centre, Berakas.

This two-day event organised by Sabre Travel Network Brunei provides travel partners including airlines, national tourist offices, hotels and travel agents with a unique platform to promote and showcase their products and services. The fair is open to all travellers, providing them with the convenience of shopping for a wide range of travel deals under a single roof.

“Brunei Travel Fair is an important event for the nation and Sabre Travel Network Brunei is proud to be once again organising this event for the benefit of Bruneians, the expat community, airlines, travel trade partners, national tourist offices and our other business partners,” said Ms. Irene Soon, General Manager, Sabre TN Brunei. “We thank our partners and travellers for their participation throughout the years and look forward to their continued support for the Brunei Travel Fair 2017, the fourteenth edition of the event.”

“With support of our partners, we will deliver new and unique content to travellers in search of their dream vacations. Over 12,600 attendees visited the Brunei Travel Fair last year and we are confident the numbers will increase at this year’s fair.” Sabre will provide more than 50 terminals to the ten participating Sabre-connected travel agencies at the fair to ensure the very best service for travellers. Mr. Abd Halim Haji Abd Rahman, Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing, Sabre TN Brunei said, “The fair provides an excellent opportunity for Brunei-based travellers to shop for both overseas and domestic travel packages, making it an event on the travel calendar not to be missed.”

Participating travel agents are: Anthony Tours & Travel Agency, At-Taqwa Travel Tours, Century Travel Centre, Darussalam Holdings, Freme Travel Services, Grace Travel, J J Tour Service, Pan Bright Travel Service, Southern Cross Travel Agencies and Straits Central Agencies.

National tourism organisations including Brunei Tourism Board, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Board, Taiwan Tourist Bureau, Tourism Authority Thailand and Tourism Perak Management Berhad will again be participating at Brunei Travel Fair. Baiduri Bank Berhad, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Brunei Airlines (RB) will showcase their own booths to extend support to participating travel agents and provide assistance to visitors.

 

 

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Due to popular demand, Pan Bright Travel Service has announced the comeback of their “Travel & Win a Hyundai OR Birkin” lucky draw promotion to be launched this weekend at the upcoming Brunei Travel Fair 2017 at the Banquet Hall of the International Convention Centre, Berakas.

One lucky winner will once again have an option of driving away a brand new Hyundai Car or bring home an exclusive Hermès Birkin Bag.

For the period between September 2017 to February 2018, one monthly ticket will be given out and the lucky customer will stand a chance to win one return ticket to any short haul destination of their choice on Royal Brunei Airlines or a return ticket to Singapore on Singapore Airlines.

The Grand Prize to be drawn in April 2018 will be a Hyundai Accent Car or a Hermès Birkin Bag, sponsored by Pan Bright Travel Service. Other prizes for the Grand Draw will include 2 return air tickets to any long haul destination of their choice sponsored by Royal Brunei Airlines, a return ticket to Brisbane sponsored by Singapore Airlines and return tickets to Kuala Lumpur for two person sponsored by Malaysia Airlines.

Last year’s Grand Draw winner of this promotion went to Awang Md. Taha Bin Ladin who opted for the Car. The winner of the “Travel and Win Car” 2015/2016 was Awang Wasli Hj. Hamid, whilst the winner for 2014/2015 was Dayang Zuriana Bte Abdul Latif.

As per previous years, for every BND200 spent on any travel related products and services from Pan Bright Travel Service, customers will be entitled to one lucky draw coupon.

For more enquiries regarding the promotion, please contact Pan Bright Travel’s offices at 2240980 for Bandar Seri Begawan, 3341154 for Kuala Belait or 3220078 for Seria or follow our Facebook @panbright or Instagram @panbrighttravel for the latest updates.

The lucky draw promotion will start from 26 August 2017 to the 31 March 2018.

 

Vietnamese wins AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2017

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in fashion, lifestyle, Social News

 

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Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad, speaking to the media while grand winner, Tran Thi Tu from Vietnam (2nd from left), felt excited being the crowned the winner of AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search yesterday at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur.
 

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An emotional Andrew Tan, Founder of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready To Wear, hopes that the collaboration with AirAsia will continue after a huge success with 10 countries competing this year alone and Air Asia made it possible.

Rano Iskandar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AirAsia’s annual designer search, AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search, held its 2017 Grand Finale today at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready To Wear 2017 (KLFW RTW 2017).

The finale saw a total of twenty young talents from all 10 Asean countries showcase their Asean-themed creations on the runway.

Two top aspiring designers were selected to represent each country after a regionwide audition tour across Asean. The search kicked off in April in Manila before moving on to Bandar Seri Begawan, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon, Jakarta, Bangkok, Vientiane and ended in Phnom Penh in June.

Tran Thi Tu from Vietnam was announced as the Grand Winner and walked away with prizes including a confirmed show segment to showcase their full collection at KLFW RTW 2018, a year-long mentorship from the KLFW RTW team, MYR25,000 sponsored by FashionValet to produce a capsule collection to be sold on fashionvalet.com, 150,000 AirAsia BIG Points, a six-page fashion spread in AirAsia’s Travel3Sixty inflight magazine, a special feature in Female Malaysia magazine and a pair of AirAsia return flights.

 

 

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The winning design from Vietnam. Congratulations.
 

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Another funky design from one of the participating countries
 

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This was one of my favourites design on stage
 

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Featuring local designer from Brunei, Kava by Nazy Sam
 

Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad said, “As a truly Asean airline, we are proud to continue our initiative through this platform and expand the designer search to a regional level with talents from all 10 Asean countries. We are very impressed with what we’ve witnessed on the runway today. Asean has great potential and we believe that, with continuous support and guidance from fashion industry leaders, business owners as well as members of the media, the fashion industry can flourish across the region.”

Andrew Tan, Founder of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready To Wear said, “Having AirAsia as a Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week partner for the past three years has undeniably been an incredible privilege. This partnership allowed us to not only access regional media and influencers but to forge stronger multilateral relationships with opinion leaders, fashion schools, designers and fashion industry activators in neighboring countries. The growth of AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search from five countries last year to 10 countries this year will be instrumental in paving the way for Kuala Lumpur to be the fashion hub of Asean in the near future, a future made possible with the strength of the collaboration between AirAsia and Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week”.

Vivy Yusof, Co-Founder of FashionValet said, “This year has been nothing short of spectacular. From talented local designers to experiencing the best of what Asean has to offer, it has been a whirlwind adventure. FashionValet is honoured to carry the debut line of last year’s winner from Thailand, Anuruk Jaidee, and we hope this will be the start of more exciting Asean brands on our platform. I am thankful to Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week and AirAsia for collaborating with us at FashionValet and look forward to discovering even more talent in 2018.”

AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search was established with the aim of empowering youth and developing young talents in the fashion industry across the region. This year’s panel of judges for the Grand Finale included judges from all Asean countries, as well as Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad; Andrew Tan, Founder of KLFW RTW; and Vivy Yusof, Co-Founder of FashionValet. Rides for the regional judges for the grand finale were sponsored by Uber.

Last year’s AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search winner, Anuruk Jaidee from Thailand, also made a special appearance and showcased his full collection on the KLFW RTW 2017 runway.

AirAsia is also KLFW RTW 2017’s Preferred Travel Partner and is proud to have flown in international fashion designers from across AirAsia’s extensive route network, including Ka-Sha (India), Reclothing Bank (China), Resurrection (South Korea), TAKK (Japan), Yousef Akbar (Australia) and Anthony Ramirez (Philippines).

AirAsia BIG Loyalty Programme and FashionValet are proud sponsors of AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2017.

Follow AirAsia on Youtube (youtube.com/user/AirAsia) for webisodes featuring the participants’ journey to the AirAsia Runway Ready Designer Search 2017 Grand Finale, or follow the hashtag #AirAsiaRunway on other social media channels such as Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia) and Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia).

 

 

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Another Brunei designer, Humaira Zakaria
 

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This show is one of the few packed itineraries that lasts for 6 days as part of KL Fashion Week
 

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Actress @bow_benjasiri from Thailand made an appearance at yesterday’s show
 

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Representing Air Asia flight attendants
 

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The local fashion bloggers in Malaysia
 

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About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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